Bishop-elect Lydia Mamakwa and family.
Using a time-honoured tradition of standing behind the nominee of their choice, delegates from 16 native communities in the diocese of Keewatin’s northern Ontario region elected Archdeacon Lydia Mamakwa as their first area bishop in early March.
Bishop-elect Mamakwa, 53, said she was “at a loss for words” when her election was announced. “The parishes of northern Ontario took a bold step in electing a woman as their first bishop. It is an honour,” she said in an interview.
Bishop-elect Mamakwa is an aboriginal priest from Kingfisher Lake, an Oji-Cree First Nation located north of Sioux Lookout, Ont. She has been serving the Anglican Church of Canada at local, diocesan and national levels. She has worked as a non-stipendiary priest since 1995.
Bishop-elect Mamakwa’s election came after years of consultation with the diocese of Keewatin.